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The Answer are a Northern Irishmarker hard rock and blues-rock band from Newcastlemarker and Downpatrickmarker, County Down, Northern Irelandmarker. They have achieved success with their debut album Rise selling in excess of 30,000 copies in the UK & Europe, 10,000 on day one in Japan and 100,000 worldwide.


  • Cormac Neeson - Vocals
  • Paul Mahon - Guitar
  • Micky Waters - Bass Guitar
  • James Heatley - Drums



The Answer were formed in 2000 by guitarist Paul Mahon, whose father was a jazz trumpeter and member of seminal Irish showband The Freshmen, who released three albums on CBS and toured with the likes of the Beach Boys. Aged 18, Paul knew he wanted to put together a rock band and mentioned it to bassist Micky Waters, an old school friend who had been in numerous cover bands around Belfastmarker.

James Heatley, who had played as Ash’s stand-in live drummer in 1993, was recruited to be the drummer for The Answer. Paul called him up only to find that he was about to take his finals at University, so the trio waited whilst James completed his degree in Psychology.

In late June 2000, the four of them got together for their debut rehearsal. 2001 was spent writing, rehearsing, gigging locally and building up a set The Answer. By 2002, the band had attracted the attention of MCD promotions in Ireland, (the company who recently bought out the Mean Fiddler Group, alongside Clear Channel), who put them on as openers at the Witnness Festival that year.

Eamonn Keyes, owner of Doghouse Studios recorded them before they were signed.

Early Recognition

In 2005, 'Classic rock' magazine voted The Answer as 'Best New Band 2005' , which brought them even more exposure. Shortly after, in November 2005, came their second official release - the single Never Too Late with a 'B side' Rock Bottom Blues originally called Stevie Blues, homage to a young blues singer from Belfast who took on Neeson's vocal influence and style in his band Swanee River. They supported Deep Purple at an intimate show at the London Astoriamarker on 17 January, 2006.

Rise (2005-2008)

Afterwards came Into The Gutter which was released on 29 May 2006 via 7" vinyl and download only, shortly followed by debut album Rise released on 26 June 2006. The album received rave reviews from Kerrang! and The Sun amongst others, and was nominated for Classic Rock magazine's 'Album Of The Year' and "Best British Newcomer" in the 2006 Kerrang! awards.

The Answer played several festivals over the summer months, as well as a support slot with Whitesnake throughout their UK tour. The band also managed to secure themselves another support slot with Paul Rodgers at the Royal Albert Hallmarker in early October 2006. This was followed by a co-headlining tour with fellow Rockers Roadstar on a tour across the UK and Europe, with further support coming from American blues-rock band Rose Hill Drive. The band was once again touring, with dates in Australia and across Europe before eventually returning for dates in Ireland and to start work on their follow-up to Rise. The band were an opening act for Aerosmith on 24 June 2007 at Hyde Park Calling.

The single Be What You Want was released on 19 March 2007, and is currently available via download-only.

The Answer have decided to re-issue the Rise album as a promotion for their summer shows and because there have been so many people complaining about download only singles . A second disc adds to the original Rise, featuring all the relevant b-sides that have not been released physically and some tracks that were recorded for the album but left off. The second disc has 15 unreleased songs on it and was released 18 June 2007. They also covered the Aerosmith song "Sweet Emotion" for a free Kerrang! CD. This was included on the second disc of the Special Edition of the Rise album.

The summer of 2007 also saw the band support The Rolling Stones at huge open-air gigs in Belgrade (Serbia), and Dusseldorf (Germany), and The Who in Dublin (Ireland).

They played a live set at the Planet Rock Radio Christmas Party, on 11 December 2007 at the Islington Academymarker, London, during which they were joined on stage by Free and Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers. Recordings of this concert were released as Live at Planet Rock Xmas Party. The band played at a Phil Lynott memorial benefit gig in Dublinmarker, when bass player Micky Waters played Phil Lynott's black bass, becoming the first person to do so since Lynott’s death. The same instrument is used by Waters in the music video for Keep Believin'. Def Leppard's lead singer Joe Elliott is a fan of the band and during an interview with AOL has cited them as a possible influence to the way their forthcoming album will sound. Former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page is also a fan and has attended several of the band's gigs and stated so at the 2005 Classic rock magazine Roll of Honour Awards.

Coming To America (Never Too Late American debut EP)

The band finally began to establish some inroads with American audiences when they signed with the indie label The End Records for U.S. distribution. As part of the agreement, the Answer released an EP in 2008 called Never Too Late, which contained a track from Rise as well as a song, Highwater or Hell, that would appear on their forthcoming full-length album Everyday Demons. Also aiding their visibility, the group were named as the opening act for the North American leg as well as the European leg of AC/DC’s Black Ice World Tour which began 28 October 2008.

Everyday Demons

In June 2008 they played a short set at the Isle Of Wight Festival. A few days later they went to L.A. to record their second album with John Travis. Everyday Demons is now commercially available worldwide. Sharing mixing duties are Tim Palmer and Mike Fraser.

Tour with AC/DC

The Answer is currently the opening act for AC/DC's Black Ice World Tour.

2009 American tour

The band is currently working on some club dates for North America in August 2009.These will be followed by a 15-date tour of the UK during November/December 2009.

Songs in other media

The song "Never Too Late" is featured in the Guitar Hero World Tour video game.

The song "Into the Gutter" is featured in the soundtrack to the video game "Pure"



Album Release date
Rise 26 June 2006
Rise: Special Edition 18 June 2007
Live at Planet Rock Xmas Party 6 October 2008
Everyday Demons 2 March 2009

Singles and EPs

Single/EP Release date Track listing Notes
Breakdown Honey EP Second quarter, 2002 L.I.V.I.N., Woke Up, Downtown Self-financed
End Your Day On A High EP January 2003 Tonight, Always, Song For The People Self-financed
Come On Free Me EP January 2003 Keep Believin', No Questions Asked, New Day Rising, Be What You Want Self-financed
Rise March 2004 Rise, Rise - acoustic version Self-financed
Keep Believin' 18 July 2005 Keep Believin', So Cold, No Questions Asked, Be What You Want, Keep Believin' Club MixKeep Believin', New Day Rising EP CD7"
Never Too Late 14 November 2005 Never Too Late, Rock Bottom Blues, Never Too Late Instrumental, Keep Believin - VideoNever Too Late, Some Unity. Number 95 UK Singles Chart EP CD7"
Into the Gutter 29 May 2006 Into the Gutter, Take It EasyInto the Gutter, Only The Strong Survive, Take It Easy, Into The Gutter Instrumental 7"Download
Under the Sky 1 October 2006 Under the Sky, I Won't Let You Down, Doctor [Live Session], Under the Sky Video Download
Come Follow Me 18 December 2006 Come Follow Me, Preachin' (Acoustic), So Cold Download
Be What You Want 19 March 2007 Be What You Want, Sweet Emotion, Into The Gutter [Acoustic], No Questions Asked [Live Radio Version] Download
Tonight March 2009 Tonight, Demon Eyes Radio promo CD during European leg of the AC/DC tour support slot
Comfort ZoneNovember 2009


  1. Metal Hammer News Article
  2. News Article retrieved 11 September 2007
  3. Announced 18 January 2009 on the band's website The Answer

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